Featured stories

LSU’s Nola stands out among top college hurlers

By Teddy Cahill

On a sun-splashed Saturday earlier this month, Aaron Nola had to step off the mound. Alex Box Stadium, LSU’s home park, can be the rowdiest venue in college baseball, and though it wasn’t packed that afternoon, it was starting to get noisy. Nola was trying to close out a four-hit shutout against Alabama in the opening game of a key SEC West series.

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Nola had to collect himself…READ MORE

Kimbrel coming of age for Braves

By Teddy Cahill

ATLANTA — Craig Kimbrel is bent over at the waist, staring straight ahead. He leans so far forward his torso is parallel to the infield grass unfolding in front of him. His right arm juts out, bent at the elbow to almost create a right angle. His forearm hangs loose, fingertips almost scraping the dirt of the pitcher’s mound.

The pose seems better fit for a yoga studio than a baseball field, but this is how Kimbrel takes signs from his catcher. He never holds it for long — there are, after all, only two signs for Braves catchers to cycle through when their closer is on the mound — but it has become Kimbrel’s signature, even more than his 97 mph fastball or devastating breaking ball.

Kimbrel made the All-Star Game in each of his first two full seasons, won the National League Rookie of the Year Award last year and leads all of baseball with 27 saves this season. He is considered by some to be the best closer in the Major Leagues. And yet, the pose is what captures imaginations… READ MORE

Stellar pitching helps Surprise top Mesa for AFL title

By Teddy Cahill

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — As home-plate umpire A.J. Johnson called Steven Souza out on strikes for the final out of Saturday’s Arizona Fall League Championship Game, the Saguaros converged in the middle of the diamond. They hopped the first-base dugout fence and raced in from the bullpen in right field to form a jumping mass of jubilation behind the pitcher’s mound.

Surprise had defeated Mesa, 2-0, at Scottsdale Stadium, winning the franchise’s first championship since 1995. But other than center fielder Tyler Naquin’s spontaneous decision to take the official championship picture wearing Jorge Alfaro’s catcher’s mask, the celebration was rather low key. There was some Chipotle, but no trophy — or Champagne — waiting for the Saguaros in the clubhouse…READ MORE

Emotional finish for Chipper at Turner Field

By Teddy Cahill

ATLANTA — Chipper Jones had the opportunity to dictate when he would leave Sunday’s 6-2 victory against the Mets, his final regular-season home game.

He said manager Fredi Gonzalez asked him three times if he wanted to be called back from the plate for a pinch-hitter or a pinch-runner and receive one last, deafening ovation from the sellout crowd at Turner Field.

Each time, however, Jones demurred. He wanted to finish what he started. And besides, he had his own plans for what he would do once the game was over…READ MORE

Keeping physically strong motivates 83-year-old swimmer Graham Johnston at National Senior Games

By Teddy Cahill
The Plain Dealer

Moments after winning the 200-yard individual medley Tuesday at the National Senior Games, his second victory of the day, Graham Johnston floated lazily on his back, catching his breath.

In the lanes around Johnston, his fellow competitors in the 80-84 age division continued the race, some thrashing through the freestyle, while others, well off the pace, bobbed up and down, doing the breaststroke. Johnston looked up in the stands, where his wife, Janis, was cheering and waving. Johnston flashed a smile and a thumbs-up…READ MORE

Toledo Rockets deliver a purposeful practice in fundraiser for stricken fiancee of Mentor’s Ben Pike

By Teddy Cahill
The Plain Dealer

MENTOR, Ohio — During a break in Toledo’s spring football practice on a cold Friday evening, Ben Pike stood near midfield of Jerome T. Osborne Stadium and prepared to address the crowd. His former Rockets teammates had come to his high school to host a scrimmage to benefit Pike’s fiancee, Ashlee Barrett, who is battling leukemia.

The stands were filled with Pike’s friends, his old football coaches, even his elementary school teachers. Pike barely knew what to say. He had spent Thursday with Barrett in St. Louis, where she received a bone marrow transplant. Now, he was surrounded by the love of his hometown…READ MORE

Draft concludes after 40 rounds, 1,215 selections

Florida high schools grade A+ in Draft class

Bauer, Salazar seek to grow as rotation mates

Lindor enjoying his ride to the big leagues

Braves can’t fend off Phillies, lose in 10 innings

Homers back Hudson as Braves shutdown Friars

Rare loss for Braves with Medlen on the mound

Hammel tosses one-hit shutout vs. Braves

Hard work key to Beachy’s unlikely success

The Plain Dealer

Taylor Rahach’s two-hitter powers Walsh Jesuit to state softball semifinal

OHSAA state wrestling: Nathan Tomasello wins fourth state title as CVCA finishes fourth in Division II

Berlin Hiland rallies to upend Lake Ridge Academy in a Division IV regional semifinal

First-half momentum carries Kent State past Miami, 87-70

Holy Name hockey team edges Rocky River in overtime, 4-3

Riverside’s Nick Boggs, Evan Rosborough wrestle to school’s first Medina Invitational titles

Firestone rallies to beat Buchtel in overtime

Garfield Heights beats Medina in boys basketball

Roddy helps lead Brecksville to another Dies wrestling title

Maurice Haynes leads John Carroll men’s basketball team to win over Baldwin-Wallace

Baseball America

Author page

Nola Brothers Face Big Decisions

2012 Southern League Top 20 prospects

Brawny Cron Brothers Heed Father’s Lessons

Panik Stepping Up For St. John’s

Resilient Tar Heels Return To Omaha

Virginia Tops Miami In Soggy Day At ACC Tourney

The Little League World Series

Japan Takes LLB World Series Title with Disciplined Approach

The family that plays together

The Ball State Daily News

  • Athletics

Ball State introduces Scholl as new athletic director

Scholl carries unusual ties to Ball State

  • Baseball

Bowling’s savvy key to his success

Source: Three finalists for Ball State coaching job begin last interviews

Ball State slugs away elimination

  • Basketball

Voice of the Cardinals (for Ball Bearings magazine)

Bobcats dance into NCAA Tournament

  • Football

Receiver proves he belongs in FBS despite size

Ball State coach, players call win over IU big for school

Walk-on player to start against Indiana

Captain turned coach

Ball State beats Buffalo, gets some revenge

Growing up tough